Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tremulous or pulsating effect produced in an instrumental or vocal tone by minute and rapid variations in pitch.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pulsating effect in vocal music produced by the rapid reiteration of emphasis on a tone, as if under the impulse of great emotion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music The musical effect or technique where the pitch or frequency of a note or sound is quickly and repeatedly raised and lowered over a small distance for the duration of that note or sound.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (music) a pulsating effect in an instrumental or vocal tone produced by slight and rapid variations in pitch

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Italian, from Late Latin vibrātus, a quivering, from Latin, past participle of vibrāre, to vibrate; see vibrate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowed from Italian vibrato, past participle of vibrare meaning "to vibrate" or "to quiver"

Examples

  • But when speaking of the rendition of Handelian arias, he evidently uses the term vibrato in the same sense as Sieber does tremolando.

    Sixty Years of California Song

  • The Korrosk soldier shuddered, tilted back his head, and roared, a deep vibrato from the depth of his chest.

    365 tomorrows » 2008 » October : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • I love the way the penny whistler bends the note, and his vibrato is devastating.

    The Lonesome Boatman | clusterflock

  • How come Leopold provides exercises for practising what we today call vibrato, several years before Wolfgang was born, and gives ample indication that the fiddlers around him were using FAR TOO MUCH WOBBLE HABITUALLY, and conductors still come along bright eyed and bushy tailed telling orchestras to use NONE?

    Archive 2005-03-01

  • How come Leopold provides exercises for practising what we today call vibrato, several years before Wolfgang was born, and gives ample indication that the fiddlers around him were using FAR TOO MUCH WOBBLE HABITUALLY, and conductors still come along bright eyed and bushy tailed telling orchestras to use NONE?

    Midweek

  • Leopold makes it abundantly clear, in his most often quoted remark, that round about 1750 - before his genius son was born, and only 20-30 years after the St Matthew Passion was written - not only were violinists using what we now call vibrato, but they routinely used far too much of it a criticism sometimes foisted upon Itzhak Perlman today.

    New music; concert halls; and The Emperor's New Clothes

  • Leopold makes it abundantly clear, in his most often quoted remark, that round about 1750 - before his genius son was born, and only 20-30 years after the St Matthew Passion was written - not only were violinists using what we now call vibrato, but they routinely used far too much of it a criticism sometimes foisted upon Itzhak Perlman today.

    Archive 2004-03-01

  • He had a handsome face and figure, a good bearing, and disclosed familiarity with the stage, and considerable talent as an actor, but he was afflicted with that distressful vocal defect which singers of his school often call vibrato in order to affect to find a virtue in it.

    Chapters of Opera Being historical and critical observations and records concerning the lyric drama in New York from its earliest days down to the present time

  • 'Rubini,' he says, 'was the earliest to use the thrill of the voice known as vibrato (the subsequent abuse of which we are all familiar) at first as a means of emotional effect, afterward it was to conceal the deterioration of the organ.'

    Sixty Years of California Song

  • The finger of the violinist vibrates on the string by rocking rapidly back and forth and the vibrato is the result.

    Resonance in Singing and Speaking

Comments

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  • During the recent Arts Appreciation Week in the city, one chap made his stand by declaring, "I shall never support, nor condone the use of uncontrolled vibrato!"

    Jan Cox

    November 8, 2007